Quilter is selling its international business to specialist life assurance company Utmost Group for £483m ($664m, €566m), as it seeks to focus more on its UK wealth management business. Quilter International will become a part of Utmost International, the international life assurance business of Utmost Group.
Utmost International will have £52bn of combined assets under administration including the deal, which adds £22bn. “(The sale) allows us to focus on accelerating our growth and efficiency plans as well as further simplifying and focusing our business around its core UK high net worth and affluent customer proposition,” Quilter CEO Paul Feeney said.
From next year, the company will target net client cash flow growth of at least 6 per cent of assets under management and administration in the medium term, up from its prior goal of 5 per cent growth per annum. The company also expects to deliver a standalone operating margin of at least 25 per cent in 2023, and no less than 30 per cent by 2025.
The sale of the unit comes at a time when the wealth management industry is benefiting from a rebound in funds under management after pandemic-led outflows, due to large government stimulus and vaccination rollouts.
Quilter’s assets rose 7 per cent year-on-year to stand at £117.8bn at the end of 2020, while larger rival St James’s Place predicted assets under management to exceed £200bn by the end of 2025 – a 50 per cent surge.
The deal is expected to be completed on 31 December 2021.